After we had steamed down the Mighty Miss, cleared New Orleans, and, in company with a regular convoy of ships, we found ourselves headed for the Pacific Ocean, via the Panama Canal. The canal is a GREAT help to much of the world’s commerce as it keeps many ships from sailing the very long way around the bottom of South America.
Maybe you don’t realize it, but you actually steam a bit to the SOUTH EAST when going from the Atlantic to the Pacific! Going through the locks is a simple process for the sailors, as ALL the work is done by Panamanians and their electric engines, called “MULES”, which not only move each ship through the locks, but keep them carefully centered and free of dents and scratches! LOL! (The Atlantic is at the top.)
During my career, I was lucky enough to go through the canal a few times, and even went through on a cruise ship long after I had retired! – Note that the Pacific exit is EAST of the Atlantic one!